, Newburyport, MA


July 8, 2013

Say, Prof, you got a minute?


Pangloss smiled wryly. “What you say is quite true, and yet we really do have no better answers to that fascinating question, ‘What is time?’ than the amusing one you mentioned.”

“Despite the dictionary’s 26 definitions,” said I, “do you think anybody really knows? The hymn says that time is “like an ever-rolling stream” that “bears all her sons away.” John Milton calls time a subtle thief — ‘How soon hath time, the subtle thief of youth, Stol’n on his wing my three and twentieth year.’ Some physicists say that space and time …”

But just as I was about to extend my remarks further into the fourth dimension, the Professor’s cellphone rang. After listening for a moment (well, maybe almost two) he glanced at his watch. “I’ll be there presently,” he barked — “ah, that is, in one minute and 37 seconds,” then rose to his feet and left— just as you will if you want to be wherever it is on time.


Jonathan Wells of Newbury looks forward to your timely thoughts at

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